Birthday celebration of the most beloved man on earth – Prophet Muhammad
The celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, has begun and goes on for a month in the Muslim month of Rabiul Awal, the third month of the Muslim (lunar) calendar. Across the world, mosques and Muslim organisations organise Islamic activities for Muslims to attend to celebrate the joyous occasion of the birth of Islam’s final prophet.
Prophet Muhammad was born on 12 Rabiul Awal of the Muslim calendar, in 570 of the Common Era (CE). This year (2018), the date coincides with 20 November.
Muslims, as they love Prophet Muhammad with their heart and soul, would always say “Sallallahu alayhi wasallam” (Peace Be Upon Him) after mentioning his name. The Prophet is referred to as Nabi (the Prophet) and Rasul (the Messenger), “Messenger” because he brought and delivered the exact Message of Allah (the God) from Allah’s direct Revelations to him through Angel Gabriel. He was not the author of the Qur’an, nor was he the founder of Islam. Islam is not a new religion but the culmination of the teachings of all the numerous prophets of Islam from Prophet Adam, Prophet Noah (Nuh), Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim), Prophet Moses (Musa) and Prophet Isa (Jesus Christ).
Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia refer to the commemoration of the Prophet’s birthday as Maulidur Rasul or Maulud Nabi. Other spelling variance includes Mawlid, Mevlid in Turkish or Milad, all come from the Arabic word for birth and usually refers to the anniversary of the Prophet’s birth.
Maulidur-Rasul is celebrated by sending their blessings to Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, with recitations of praises and blessings (marhaban). Islamic inspiration talks are held in mosques and other hired premises about the prophet’s life and his exemplary good character. Qasidah Burdah (a poem written in praise of the Prophet, comprising nearly 160 couplets) is read in a melodic way and the selawat (praising of the Prophet) sung in a very tuneful way, too, during these occasions. The selawat is usually accompanied by just by one or two instruments like the tambourine-like hand-held drums.
In some countries Maulidur-Rasul is celebrated with large street parades and mosques and homes decorated with colour lights. It is also a day of public holiday in many Muslim countries.
While the large majority of Muslims all over the world celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, some Muslims do not participate in such open public celebrations; instead, they celebrate the occasion by fasting the whole day and reading the Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam.
Also, some sections of Muslims see the celebration as contradictory to Islamic norms. Those who celebrate Maulidur-Rasul and those who do not cite the Hadith (words and deeds of the Prophet) to support their views. Those who do not often point out that birthdays were never celebrated during the Prophet’s time.
However, the vast majority of Muslims, who take part in the celebration of the mawlid, say the occasion provides another avenue in enhancing Islamic values as the celebration is not conducted with wild merry-making but gracefully conducted with reading of the Qur’an, Islamic lectures on the Prophet’s life and deeds as well as singing songs in praise of the Prophet (selawat), thus intensifying the love for the Prophet. The occasion also brings Muslims together to maintain Islamic relationship, bonding and unity.
Allah says in the Qur’an about Prophet Muhammad: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.” (Qur’an, 33:21)
At the Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon, the Prophet advised people: “I leave behind two things, the Qur’an and my example (the Sunnah) and if you follow these you will never go astray.”
20 November 2018